Saturday, June 17, 2017

Yarn Hoarder Quiz...

When I saw this quiz on Facebook, I knew I had to take it... answer a few questions and see if you're an "Expert Stashbuster," "Amateur Yarn Hoarder" or "Professional Yarn Hoarder." Hmm.... I know what my family would say... but I took the quiz anyway...

Question 1 dealt with how much I've spent on a single skein of yarn. I would score low on this one... since I'm not one to pick up fancy yarns that run $20 a skein. A simple skein of Red Heart Super Saver or Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn will meet most of my needs. My answer for this one was between 1 point ($5 - $7) and 2 points (Around $20). I try to always use a coupon when I'm picking up yarn, but I may have picked up a Caron Pounder or a big ball of Bernat Blanket without a coupon, and they're $9.99.

Question 2 dealt with how many skeins of yarn I have in my stash...
Now, realize that I have been knitting and crocheting for over 40 years. People give me yarn all the time. I have gotten bags and boxes of yarn when people cleaned out grandma's house, or when they were moving and couldn't take it with them.
Yarn left for me in my office.
Three boxes when a coworker moved from NY to MI
A woman from church was helping her sister clean house...and I got yarn...

The points went from 1 for Just a few/less than 5 (yeah, right) to 2 points for "20 or so" and 3 points for "I can't even begin to count them all". Well, I can count them all, because they're all nicely organized in a spreadsheet on Ravelry, so I know I have over 600 skeins... does that mean I should get 30 points for this one?

Question 3: "Have you ever lied about buying yarn, or hid your most recent purchase from your significant other?
1 point for no, 2 for not yet/thought about it, 3 for yes.
Gave myself a three... as I have been known to keep yarn in the trunk until I have a chance to escort it to its chosen storage bin without others seeing!

Question 4:
When there's a yarn sale, you normally...
-Don't know about it (1 point)
-Check it out if you remember (2 points)
-Mark it on your calendar...and maybe take the day off work (3 points)
I really don't fit into this one... I would say my answer would be "lament the fact that I have to pass up such great bargains because I really don't NEED the yarn at this time"!  I really have been good about limiting my yarn purchases in recent years! For the most part, I have only been buying yarn when I specifically need it for a project. But...I never refuse free yarn...and I have received hundreds of skeins in just the last six months!

Question 5 (here's where I really racked up points!)
Give yourself 1 point if you have yarn in the following places:
-At home, in the designated yarn storage boxes/bags, shelves - check
-At work / at your desk - Check (I bring a craft bag with me to work for when I walk laps around the gym before work!)
-In the kitchen and/or dining room - Check (when I took the quiz, I had a skein of yarn on the dining room table that needed to go into a project bag)
-In the bathroom - not guilty on this count!
- in the basement - Check - that's where I have twelve storage totes!
- in your car - yes, I have a "crafts to go" bag for when I'm stuck waiting, like in a doctor's office
- next to your bed - yes...and under the bed
-in the living room - yes... that's where I work on projects!

You only needed 15 points to qualify as a "Professional Yarn Hoarder", so that's where they put me... I think I would prefer to be called an "Organized Yarn User" - as I regularly pull yarn from my stash and use it up.

All of my yarn is nicely organized in bins and entered into a wonderful organization system called the Stash feature on the Ravelry website. I can browse through pictures, sort by color, weight of the yarn, yardage, or by the date I stored it. So, if I come across an adorable pattern that used bulky yarn, I can browse through what I have, and pull something from my stash. Looking for cotton yarn for a dishcloth? Search for "Cotton".  Or if I'm looking for a skein of blue yarn, I can easily find where that particular shade is stored (a vital feature, since yarn is stored in 19 totes/bags in four different rooms of the house!
The basement storage...but now there are twelve totes.

For instance, when One and Two Pattern company announced their crochet contest this month was Joe the Puppy, and the recommended yarn was a bulky chenille, I searched through my Ravelry stash for "Chenille" and knew just which bin to go to. I pulled out two skeins of Khaki and a skein of white, and got to work. The finished product:
Love how Joe the Puppy turned out!
Yes, my stash is pretty big... if I didn't buy any more yarn, and nobody gave me any, it would be over two years before I would run out of yarn at my current rate of using up stash yarn. I'll just keep plugging away at what I have on hand. So, I guess some would call me a hoarder. Others would call me well-prepared! 
A sample of the Ravelry Stash feature, if I was looking for worsted weight yarn.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Happy Honeybee Pattern

Mini Honeybee Amigurumi
Size F hook
Worsted Weight yarn in Black, Yellow & White
Stuffing material

I made up this honeybee pattern when a friend wanted some cute little bees to give as gifts to her class of preschoolers. They work up quickly, because there is minimal sewing! You make up the parts (legs and wings) first, so when you reach the row where they should be placed, you just tie them on (legs) or sew them on (wings). I like to be able to work from both sides when I'm sewing things on, so that's the way I worked it up. 

Legs (make 6) – Use black yarn
Leaving a 2” or so tail, chain 5. Slip stitch back to the beginning. Finish off, leaving 2” or so tail.

Wings (make 2)  – use white yarn
Chain 6. Slip stitch in 2nd chain from hook. Sc in next stitch, hdc in next, dc in next. 3 DC in last chain. Working in back side of chain, work DC, HDC, SC, then slip stitch. Finish off, leaving 6” or so tail for sewing to body.

Body (worked in continuous round – use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of your rounds).
Start with Yellow
Round 1: 6 SC in MR (6)
Round 2: increase in each stitch (12)
Round 3: *sc, inc*, repeat around (18) (eyes & mouth will be embroidered on this round)
Round 4: *2 sc, inc*, repeat around (24) (first set of legs go here)
Rounds 5-6: work even in yellow (24) (wings go here)
Rounds 7-8: work even in black (24) (second set of legs go here)
Rounds 9-10: work even in yellow (24)
Rounds 11-12: work even in black (24) (last set of legs go here)
Round 13: Work even in yellow (24)
Round 14: *2 sc, dec*, repeat around (18) (stuff before the whole gets too small!)
Round 15: *1 sc, dec*, repeat around (12)
Round 16: decrease around (6)

Finish off, leaving a 6” or so tail. Weave tail through the 6 remaining stitches and pull closed.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The June Penguin Pail - A Baker's Dozen this month!

There is my list for June... Preparing for a show, working down my stash, trying to finally make something for myself, while keeping up with the healthy habits I'm trying to establish. Let's see if I can do this! 
  1. prepare price tags for 6/10 craft show - DONE! 
  2. finish/print “catalog” for craft show - DONE!
  3. make a dozen wool dryer balls for show - DONE! 
  4. make a Pikachu basket for displaying Pokemon Go balls - DONE! 
  5. Reduce stash by 5 pounds / Starting point = 624 entries, 204 pounds - DONE
  6. participate in the One and Two Company CAL - DONE with Joe the Puppy! 
    I also participated in the Happily Hooked Magazine CAL for a Scrappy Snake. It was supposed to be 41" long... I used two strands of yarn and a larger hook, and ended up with a 5-foot snake that makes a nice body pillow! 
  7. exercise 4x per week, get 10K steps at least twice a week (Week 1... 2x exercise, didn't hit 10K, closest was 6,998)
  8. Make myself a fancy shawl to wear over black sundress (never got around to it!)
  9. Make Snappy Tots Ribbed Towel using multiple strands of crochet thread - this got bumped by an order for 2 chicken potholders that turned into three orders and an Etsy listing for them! So I am done with doing a project that uses up some of the crochet cotton I received... just not the project I had planned! 
  10. Keep grocery shopping purchases to a minimum, to work down pantry stash - doing pretty well with this. Had one week where I was shopping hungry and bought too much! 
  11. Make crocheted water balloons from Bernat Blanket yarn in stash - 14 down, 6 or so to go (until yarn runs out!) - DONE (but then I got more Bernat Blanket yarn for my birthday...)
  12. Publish Honeybee pattern - DONE 
  13. Finish winding hank of yarn that is half-tangled on the dining room table - DONE